Home > Random Stuff > Make Oobleck Quicksand

 

By Ruth Barnard


 

Have fun playing with homemade Oobleck quicksand and learn about the science behind quicksand along the way.


WARNING! DO NOT POUR OOBLECK QUICKSAND DOWN THE DRAIN. IT WILL BLOCK YOUR DRAINS.

 

Quicksand

Many people may not get the chance to play with a bowl of real quicksand but we can make cornflower quicksand otherwise known as Oobleck, which has a lot of similar properties to real quicksand.

Like real quicksand Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that it's viscosity (thickness and flow rate) changes based on how much and how quickly force is applied to it. Depending on the stress it is under quicksand can act like a liquid or a solid.

Killer Quicksand?

People can die in quicksand although it's often because they panic and try to escape with as much force and speed as they can. This just makes the sand harder and harder to escape and may cause people who are stuck to die from exhaustion. Instead you should use slow movements and relax as you carefully and slowly pull yourself out.

Find out more about real quicksand and how to escape it here.


     

What you need:

• One box of Cornflour (found in the baking isle of most supermarkets)

• Large mixing bowl or container

• About a cup of water

Optional: Newspapers or table cover (it gets very messy), small plastic toy or figurine and food colouring.

 

What to do:

1. Tip about 1/4 of the box of cornstarch into the bowl.

2. With a spoon or your hands slowly mix in around 1/2 cup of water

3. You want the cornstarch mix to be about the consistency of honey or syrup so if it's too thin, add more cornstarch and if it is too thick, add water.

4. Have fun playing with it and experimenting! Try a few activities below!

 


 
     


Activities to try

• Punch the liquid with your fist

• Let your hand slowly sink into it

• Make a ball out of it and watch it melt on your hand

• Bounce a bouncy ball on it

• Drop a bouncy ball into it

• Put a small figure on top of it and then try to rescue them

• Mix in food colouring

• Dry a piece of it with a paper towel and turn it back into powder

 

Fun Fact: Oobleck gets its name from Bartholomew and the Oobleck book by Dr. Seuss. In this book Oobleck is a gooey green substance.

 

Happy Experimenting!

Site by Xplore – your web agency